If you live in Jefferson County chances are you have heard a lot about 3A and 3B. They are two measures on the ballot this fall to help prevent seriously drastic cuts in Jefferson County schools. Combined they will cost the average Jefferson County homeowner $3.06 a month. What kind of cuts will these help prevent? The school district will have to lay off approximately 600 teachers and staff. For the average elementary school that means:
Losing 2-3 teachers
No more instrumental music for 5th and 6th graders.
Losing half of a teacher librarian
Losing instructional coaches
Average class size would be around 31 kids!!
This will have a major negative impact on our kids’ education.
For those of you saying I don’t have kids, why should I care? You should care because good schools are a major part of good communities, and great schools boost property values. They also bring companies with jobs to the area, which helps the local economy. Before I explain what 3A and 3B are let’s take a quick look at some facts.
According to the Colorado School Finance Project web site Colorado spends $2,510 less per student than the national average.
Over the past three years Jeffco Schools has cut its budget by $78 million.
Teachers in Jefferson County have taken a 3% pay cut for two years in a row.
Including buildings and principals Jefferson county schools spend 95% of their money on things that impact the kids. Think about that for a second 95%…
Despite all of that Jefferson County continues to get accolades:
Jeffco tied second for the highest graduation rate among the 50 largest districts in the nation.
Jeffco schools have outpaced the Colorado average on CSAP / TCAP testing in all subjects and in every grade since 2002.
Ok so tell me already what 3A and 3B are!
3A is a mill levy override that will generate $39 million for operational costs. The money will be used to:
- Recruit and retain the best teachers
- Maintain current classroom sizes
- Ensure students continue to have access to instrumental music, teacher librarians, electives, and Outdoor Lab.
- Restore two school days for students
3B is a bond measure which will provide funds for critical repairs and maintenance. A lot of these are needed to keep our kids safe, warm and dry.
All of the money from both of these will stay in Jefferson County, not one penny will go to PERA.
In the end this all comes down to our kids and our communities. The kids going to school now are the future of America. If we don’t give them a solid education now, they are at a serious disadvantage later in life. For more information please visit the 3A / 3B campaign web site at http://www.supportjeffcoschools.com/, or Great Education Colorado’s website at http://www.greateducation.org/.
A vote for 3A and 3B is a vote for our kids and communities.
Jeff is a single Dad who is very much involved in his daughter’s life. He runs the All Pro Dad chapter at my daughters school, and is also the new PTA president. Due to his involvement he has experienced many amazing times and things with his daughter. He wants to help other Dads have those wow moments as well! He blogs at www.involvedad.com.